The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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It has been an unusually warm spring throughout the UK, with forecasts that the summer is going to be a toasty one, maybe on par with the summer of '76. What better excuse than to get customers to stock up on beer and cider, which is one reason the UK retailer Tesco probably decided to run a sale this week in its Scottish stores that was supposed to say, "Buy three boxes of beer and save £11."

Unfortunately for Tesco but happily for its customers, a computer glitch turned the sale into, "Buy three boxes of beer for £11," a BBC report said.

The news of the pricing error quickly spread by way of social media, email and phone, which quickly created a stampede of buyers to Scottish Tesco stores who wanted to save themselves £9 off the intended sales price and £20 off the nominal price. Given the fact that Scotland is one of the most expensive locations to buy a pint of beer probably helped motivate Tesco shoppers as well.

Police reportedly had to be called to maintain order in at least one Tesco parking lot, a STV story reported.

The STV article reported that the pricing error last for a couple of hours before Tesco was able to fully correct it across all of its stores operating in Scotland. But by then, many shoppers had hauled away trollies stacked high with crates of beer and cider.

Tesco isn't saying how many crates of beer and cider were sold at the incorrect price.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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